Everybody’s running for butter tarts, although some are actually running for youth in north Simcoe County as well.
The ninth annual Butter Tart Trot, also called "the yummiest run race in Ontario" by organizers, is a volunteer-run marathon event held on June 10 this year in Midland, adjacent to the events of the town’s largest tourism draw — Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival.
“We started off the first year with 60 runners, and last year we had just shy of 700,” race director Irene Parker said. “They love it – it’s one sweet race.”
Two charities benefiting are the Boys and Girls Club of North Simcoe and We Are The Villagers, who will receive 100 per cent of the proceeds raised. Parker stated approximately $8,000 was raised during the 2022 event.
“(The charities) are very active with buying into volunteering,” said Parker. “They do an aid station, they help us along the course, and so forth. The community is very supportive in cheering, so it’s a real win-win situation.”
Midland’s scenic waterfront will be the hosting spot for the Athletics Ontario sanctioned run, with various distances listed throughout. Starting and finishing at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, the half-marathon will take enthusiastic runners to Midland Point Road at its furthest distance.
A five-kilometre and 10-kilometre run are also measured with turnaround markings, and a one-kilometre Kids Fun Run for ‘Mini Tarts’ ages 12 and under has also been included for the event.
“It is by far the favourite part of my whole day,” said Parker. “Those little guys, we give them all the bib number '1' so they all feel (like winners). We’ve had some races where the little guys come in and say, ‘Look mom, I’m number one!’ Our mission is to create a fun sense of community, participation, and family fitness.”
Various amenities such as aid stations and portable restrooms will be available, along with volunteers providing healthy food and beverage refreshments on route. Even butter tarts will be available for runners, which Parker added was fitting for the day.
“We start quite early,” said Parker of the 7 a.m. arrival time, “so people will have one (butter tart) and then they ‘run it off’ so to speak. Our race is done by 11:30 a.m., so we also encourage them to use the free shuttle that is at Mitsubishi (on Wye Valley Rd.) that takes the participants to the main Butter Tart Festival.”
Parker added that the event wouldn’t be possible without the support from sponsors and numerous volunteers on the day.
Details for the Butter Tart Trot race, volunteering, and registration can be found on the event’s website here.